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  #1  
Unread 25th of October, 2007, 00:23
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Chapter 4 - The Reunion

3rd of Resplendent Wood, Realm Year 769

On the 3rd day of Resplendent Wood, Realm year 768, you all sat round a fire in Tiden's camp and made a promise in parting... that one year from the day, you would be at this same place, prepared to make a decision on what to do next. That was one year ago, and the year has passed.

Tiden and Gorthas, both spending much of their time with the tribe during the course of the year, have been waiting for the day that their companions would return. It is a still, misty morning in the forest. The fire doesn't want to stay lit the moisture is so thick. The two of you idly occupy yourselves with tending to it, having the entire day to wait for people to show up.

Lacuna emerges from her tent, yawning obnoxiously. She wears very little, just pants and a cloth shirt thats slightly torn and too small for her, exposing a bit of her belly. She makes her way over to the campfire. One year earlier, she wouldn't leave the safety of her tent without being at least well dressed. That seems to have gone out the window. Her red hair, which had fallen down to her shoulders, is now another 2 inches longer. While on the mountain, her hair started to knot, and due to a combination of not having a proper way to comb it and not really caring, it stayed that way. After a while she started encouraging it, finding tree sap to hold it in place. Her once straight hair is now a collection of locks, dangling messily around her face. She plops herself down on one of the logs next to Tiden and Gorthas, placing a cup down atop the coals on the fire and filling it with water and herbs. She turns and looks the two of them in the eye.

"So... how are you two? Excited to see everyone? I sure am. I bet they'll be different." She says casually, bathing in her own irony. She takes her tea from the fire and sips it, idly stirring it with a turn of her finger, not touching the water at all.
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Unread 25th of October, 2007, 01:07
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"That's funny comming from you! You've really taken to the forests, but it works for you. You're really lookin' great! Like you lost a weight off your back." Gorthas says to Lacuna with a smile and a pat on the back, "That tea there, you only got one cup? Smells good."

Mentally, Gorthas seems to step away for a moment, then comes back, "It will be good to see everyone," He says to both Tiden and Lacuna. "Especially Kami. She's been through a lot now I'm sure, I just hope the time has treated her well."
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Last edited by Xaden; 25th of October, 2007 at 05:37.
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Unread 25th of October, 2007, 11:44
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Tiden broke his usual silence "Its been a long time. I hope everyone is ready for what is to come." Touching his right eye for a moment he said more to himself then the others "I know I am"
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Unread 31st of October, 2007, 17:41
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The rustling of brush was the only sound that followed Silver Wind. She was almost like a ghost in the morning mist, her silver hair cloaking her and blending in. It was unbraided now, something that Nanaku had encouraged her to do. She said that doing so allowed her "silver mane" to flow free of restraints, as she would need her own emotions and creativity to when she practiced her art.

Still, it made it so it collected leaves, branches, and other loose items of the forest in it. She would periodically claw and pick out the bits and pieces that decided to make her hair their new home. Eventually though, she arrived at her destination.

It was an unremarkable spot but for one fact; and arrow stuck out from a nearby tree. She walked over to it and brushed away what little moss had been growing over it. Certainly enough, the tail feathers were the exact same she used for her own arrows. This arrow marked the spot where she had met Stran and made him promise to wait for her return.

She had not felt her promise break, which meant he was around here somewhere. "Stran," she shouted, cupping her hands around her mouth. "Stran are you here? It is I, Silver Wind!"
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Unread 3rd of November, 2007, 21:31
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Stran had discovered that the mind of a wasp didn't grasp time as firmly as that of the man. Seconds and minutes and days blazed by under the impossibly fast world of the insect. Few sentient beings in Creation could grasp, exactly, how a "mere bug" lived. In the carapaced, yellow and black, rust-red winged body he currently wore, Stran saw through a broken kaleidoscope and his every reflex sang. He needed no windup or wasted movement to go from completely still to streaking into the sky, a perfected sort of movement that other creatures wouldn't be able to grasp.

And so was he when the lovely Silver Wind called for him, resting on the very tip of a forest flower, completely still yet the world around him rocketed past. Her voice was strange in his insectoid "ears," less a voice and more a vibration, but he knew it was her. His small yellow form darted from his flower and flew towards the culmination of his promise with the young Solar. Silver streamers engulfed his body and the tiny buzz of his flight transformed into a bass hum as he approached the clearing and landed gracefully, bowing before Silver Wind.

"Milady. I've been waiting and am very interested in how your training went."

He looked up to grin at her.

"Have I earned a punch or not?"
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Unread 12th of November, 2007, 14:59
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After a brief pause, Gorthas casually asks, "You know, I've seen the two of you around every now and then during our time here, but I don't really know what you've gotten yourselves into. I've seen you," and he nods towards Tiden, "Sparing with some of the tribesmen, and giving them a mighty fine whoopin'! And talked with you, Lacuna, from time to time, but I'm sure you two must have been up to more than that. So what have you two been doing?" He then looks back and forth between Tiden and Lacuna to see if anyone will share anything.
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Unread 14th of November, 2007, 18:40
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Silver Wind heard the rapid beat of Stran's wings fill the air as he landed in front of her. At his words she breathed out a ragged breath, the action sounding to her like the gentle trotting of a horse's hooves now.

As that breath left her she sprung forward at Stran, crossing the space in the blink of an eye. Her fists balled up and she swung at his face before he could react or jerk it away. Just before she struck him though, her fists came to a jerking stop, the breath finishing its escape from her mouth.

"There were times, Stran of Elegant Rust," she said his full name the way a mother says her child's full name, one which promised only bad things to come. "When I lay in my bed aching from my exercises too much to sleep, left only to think. And I thought about a lot of things, most of them on how I would repay you for what you directed me too."

Her face suddenly bloomed into a smile. "And now here I am, and I can only thank you. Before I met you, before you directed me to Nanaku, I would never have been able to do what I just did. I did not possess such speed and grace. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the strength you have helped give me Stran."
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Unread 15th of November, 2007, 01:09
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"Hey thanks." Says Lacuna, smiling genuinely. She pulls another small cup out and fills it too with water and herbs, giving it to Gorthas a minute later. The taste is rough and bittersweet but strangely satisfying as it sends a hot rush down to the Lunar's toes and fills the belly with a thick warm feeling. "Xander Root. It's sort of an acquired taste. Good for you though."

To Gorthas' question, Lacuna responds casually, still working on her tea. "Oh you know, just explored around here and there. There's a beautiful lake some distance away. I spent a long time alone there. It's nice... not being tied down." She looks up from her drink at Gorthas. "Where I came from there was no freedom. No choice. I was told who to be, what to become." Lacuna turns back down and stirs with her finger, nodding to herself. "I like it here. The air is free here."

The mist has started to rise as the early morning passes you by. The fire burns more readily. Lines of sunlight peek over the tops of the trees. It is through these rays of light that Lacuna's gaze meets Tiden. "So I hear that you were gone from the tribe nearly as long as I was... Been soulsearching?" She says with a smile and a measure of joke in her voice. On a more serious note she continues. "Has the time erased your hatred?" Lacuna pauses, letting the question sink in. "I'm sure Shaedra will be returning with the others. We can't have grudges getting in the way of cohesion, especially with what we're up against." She idly sips her tea, eyeing the silent lunar.

Last edited by Erendiox; 15th of November, 2007 at 08:31.
  #9  
Unread 16th of November, 2007, 20:30
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Shaedra had wandered for days beneath the tree limbs, alternately riding and leading Kheervis, hoping that she would either find landmarks she recognized or that he would smell the circle and lead her to them. Finally they found themselves in the familiar territory of Shea'To's tribe.

The early morning mist was making the humidity unbearable for Shaedra, she had grown used to the dry heat of the desert. She had stripped out of most of her clothes, and now she wore only loose light pants, a loose shirt and her breastplate.

Voices and firelight flickered through the trees ahead of her. She heard a man and a woman speaking. She was able to recognize Gorthas's voice, but it took her a moment to place the woman's voice as Lacuna's. It sounded as though Lacuna had changed a fair bit in the past months.

Shaedra drew closer till she could see the small camp, Lacuna and Gorthas sat on logs near the campfire drinking something. Shaedra almost didn't recognize Lacuna at first glance, she had changed so much from the proper young dragon blood, now she looked as wild as the beastmen.

Kheervis whickered softly, and pulled gently on the reins, obviously wanting to go forward. Shaedra resisted, suddenly feeling a bit unsure. She still wasn't sure if the rest of her circle had truly forgiven her for murdering Icarus. She rested her heaad against the bark of a nearby tree, trying to get her thoughts in order. Then she stood up straight, shaking off the feelings of doubt. If they still didn't trust her then she would just deal with it. She would be able to win back their trust in time.

Shaedra walked forward, emerging from the trees and coming toward Gorthas and Lacuna. She noticed Tiden was also here, previously hidden behind the trees. She smiled at all three of them, though she wondered where the rest of the group was. "Hi guys."
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Unread 17th of November, 2007, 04:20
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Lacuna turns to the new arrival. Seeing the familiar face, she grins at the timing. "Speak of the Malfeans..." She says, half to the others. " ... welcome back Shaedra. You're officially the first to arrive. It's good to see you." Lacuna rummages around for a third cup, finding one and dusting it off.

"Are you partial to tea my friend?" She says with an even bigger smile at her own inappropriateness.
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Unread 17th of November, 2007, 04:42
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Shaedra nodded and smiled, "Yes I am, thank you. It's good to see you all too." She dropped Kheervis's reins, letting him wander freely, and sat down on a log near Lacuna. She placed her Goremaul on the ground behind her, but still within easy reach, and dropped her backpack next to it. "I see you've adapted well to life outside the Realm, Lacuna. Honestly it's kind of a refreshing change, I like it."

She accepted the cup of tea with a nod of thanks and took a sip. It was a bittersweet flavor she had never tasted before, but to Shaedra's surprise she found she liked it. "This is good, what kind of tea is it?"
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Unread 17th of November, 2007, 09:22
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"Lacuna says its 'Xander Root'. And it does certainly have it's own appeal." Gorthas says to Shaedra in a friendly tone, "We were just talking about what everyone's been up to this past year and I was just about to mention how you taught me Sorcery, or at least, how to cast sorceries and that one spell 'Emerald Countermagic'. But then you seemed to just disappear off the face of Creation. Where have you been?"

A couple times while talking Gorthas seems to glance over at Kheervis, Hmmm... Silver Wind's horse. I really must be getting over these feelings towards that woman. I wonder what it could be? Well since my Second Breath, much of my former youth seems to have returned, I feel stronger, tougher, I feel like I even think faster. What if more than just my physical and mental capacities have returned to a more youthful state? Ha! Now that's a funny thought. Well, it has been a year, and a year I spent specifically trying to not think about her and now I will be forced to once again. Maybe things have changed, I mean, look at Lacuna. Maybe it is time to be more open minded with Silver Wind, see how she is, and try not to get so upset every time I see her. I just wish I could explain... it.
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Unread 17th of November, 2007, 10:03
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"Xander Root, huh, interesting." Shaedra looked down at her tea, trying to decide what to say. Once she would have felt bad about leaving her group behind, but now she only felt confidant that she had made the right decision. "I traveled south, into the deep desert. I just needed some time to think and come to terms with what I had done. While I was there I found what I think was an ancient Solar Manse, most likely from the First Age. I found some pretty interesting stuff too, a library that once belonged to a Twilight Caste, and some weapons and a scroll detailing a formerly lost martial art style." Shaedra took another sip of her tea, then set the cup down on the ground. She turned to her pack and pulled out a long bundle, well wrapped to keep the sand from damaging it. She pulled back the cloth coverings revealing her new weapons and a leather bandolier. "This is what I found, they are called called Firewands," she said as she strapped the bandolier across her chest over her breastplate.
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Unread 17th of November, 2007, 11:35
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Lacuna smiles at Shaedra's words. She liked it when people noticed her differences. It's important to her that she's not perceived as the same person they knew a year ago. When Shaedra pulled out the firewands, Lacuna's eyes sharpened.

"Be careful with those." Said Lacuna, eyeing the weapons carefully through the steam off her tea. "To those who know what they are... firewands might just inspire more fear than your goremaul would. It's a devastating weapon, despite its size. I've heard tales of its effective use... and misuse."
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Unread 17th of November, 2007, 12:36
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Stran could only blink, rather comically, at the strong fist in his face, before falling backwards a little. His pale face turned paler still and he started to sweat (a sensation he would have to ease back into) as Silver Wind looked ANGRY... But then that anger melted and was shown to be false and Stran let out a relieved sigh.

"Ahem... I see that Sifu Nanaku DID teach you well, haha."

He reclaimed some of his dignity and stood upright, inclining his head to look down at her, this time.

"I knew you had the potential for it, otherwise I wouldn't have recommended you. With this new strength, you now have less to fear, yes?"

He stretched a bit, his wings disappearing in a hail of glittering silver dust.

"Nnnnnngh, I've worn the shape of the wasp for so long, it's odd having bones again, and seeing with only two eyes. Won't you walk with me and tell me about your training?"

He offered her his arm and began walking with his own two feet for the first time in a while.
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Unread 17th of November, 2007, 12:59
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Shaedra nodded, "Yeah, but then again I'm a fearsome kind of woman," she said with a smile. She checked the firewands over to make sure they hadn't been damaged in the trip. When she was satisfied she slid them into the holsters on the back of the bandolier. "So, any idea where everyone else is?"
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Unread 19th of November, 2007, 03:23
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"Unfortunetly, no. But if their stories are half as exciting as yours," and he gives Shaedra a firm pat on the shoulder, "I can't wait to see them."

He then looks at the firewands and back at Shaedra, "So what do those firewands do? I've never seen their like before when living with my tribe, though Lacuna here clearly gives them some respect. They must be something more than just some oddly shaped rods."
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Unread 21st of November, 2007, 19:05
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Shaedra opened her mouth to reply to Gorthas, then closed it. She wasn't sure how to describe what the Firewands did. Instead she stood up and reached back to pull one off of her back. She flipped it over her shoulder and took aim at a nearby tree, one just within range of the Firewand. She could see that the bark was still damp from the fog and morning dew, so she figured what she was about to do wouldn't cause any damage. She didn't really want Tiden mad at her for burning down the forest.

She sighted in and squeezed the trigger. A gout of flame shot out from the end of the Firewand and just licked the bark of the tree, leaving it steaming in the flames wake.

When the flames had cleared she flipped the Firewand back up to cool the barrel some and sat back down to reload the weapon. When she was finished she offered it to Gorthas to inspect. "Understand now?" She asked with a smile.
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Unread 24th of November, 2007, 02:25
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Gorthas carefully handles the weapon looking it up and down, looking at the triggering mechanism, "Amazing! So this weapon shoots a flaming projectile. I see now why Lacuna says this inspires such respect, and fear. But I notice no Orichalcum, no Jade, no Moonsilver." He hands the firewand back to Shaedra.

"So it works on more mundane means? That powder you put in, it must be something like pitch, or oil, a substance that can violently burst into flames. It's a weapon that creates a controlled and directional firey blast." With a laugh he adds, "With more technology like this evetually even mortals could become a match to an Exalt."
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Unread 30th of November, 2007, 09:45
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Shaedra nodded in agreement with Gorthas's words. "While I was looking through the library I found a book describing how to craft Firewands out of Orichalcum and the like. Now all I have to do is find a decent supply of Orichalcum and a suitable place to forge it."

She replaced the firewand in the holster on her back and finished off her tea. "So what have you guys been doing while I was away?"
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Unread 30th of November, 2007, 17:32
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Tiden only half listened to the rest of the group, glancing up only to see Shaedra's display of her firewand. It seemed that the mighty solar had gained some strength while she was away. Tiden only hoped that she had also gained some mental strength as well. Deep down, Tiden still partly blamed Shaedra for what happened, for not being able to resist whatever had bewitched her. He hid it well though.

Sheadra's question pierced his troubled inner brooding. Tiden gracefully raised to his feet. His stared intensely at Sheadra for a moment. Then he struck a fighting stance and spoke in a harsh tone.

"I have done the only thing someone who is sworn to revenge can do. I have become stronger."

At the last word there was blur of movement, too fast for even the eyes of an exalted to follow. Tiden had a tiny lock of Sheadra's hair.

With a grin Tiden continued. "... and I would love to test myself against someone with some skill..."
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Unread 30th of November, 2007, 19:27
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Shaedra saw Tiden take his fighting stance, and was amazed at the blur of movement that followed. In the space of a few heartbeats he had moved in close enough to her to grab a lock of her hair. She looked at him for the briefest of moments before a grin that could only be described as bloodthirsty crossed her face.

Almost as fast as he had moved, she responded. She wrapped one arm around the hand and arm Tiden had grabbed her hair with. Then she braced her other hand under his chin. She twisted, using her superior upperbody strength to lift him up then push him down to the ground. She made sure to hold back only enough to keep from hurting him seriously, but she let her actions and control exhibit how much she had learned in the past year.

"Sounds like fun." She said, the grin not leaving her face.
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Unread 6th of December, 2007, 05:22
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Lacuna's eyes are like spears. Her gaze impales you both.

"This is a reunion, not a sparring match! Save it for our enemies! What do you think Silver Wind would say about this if she were here?"

[Lacuna: Presence Attack: (Charisma 4 + Presence 3 + Stunt 2) = 9(10,10,8,7,5,4,4,2,1) 6 successes vs Tiden MDV6 <failure> vs Shaedra MDV6 <failure>]
[Join Battle: Shaedra: (Wits 2 + Awareness 3) = 5(10,10,10,9,4) 7 successes vs standard difficulty <competent dragon>]
[Join Battle: Tiden: (Wits 5 + Awareness 3) = 8(10,9,6,5,5,4,2,2) 3 successes vs standard difficulty <superior>]

Last edited by Erendiox; 7th of December, 2007 at 11:52.
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Unread 6th of December, 2007, 11:44
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Gorthas's first reaction was to just agree with Lacuna, then he stopped himself, turned to her and whispered, "Let them do this, there is tension between them both and there will be no unity between them unless they get their animosity out. And if it starts to turn ugly, I will turn into a bear and pin them down."

At least, I hope that would be enough to stop them... He thinks to himself. And with that he watches them both very closely to make sure neither really tries to hurt each other.
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Unread 7th of December, 2007, 15:02
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Tick 4

Tiden smiled up at her from the ground.

"Not bad chosen of the sun. But if you think you can beat me in hand to hand combat then you don't know me very well."

Tiden's smile widened and his eyes suddenly held a feral glee in them. Without warning he performed a vicious head-but meaning to stun her. Then grabbed hold of her shirt with both hands to throw her off of him.

[Tiden headbut and clinch/throw: headbut: (dex 5 + MA 5 + ACC1 - Moves 2) = 9(1099755431) 5 successes: clinch/throw: (dex 5 + MA 5 - Moves 3) = 7 (7654321) 1 success]

Last edited by Erendiox; 13th of December, 2007 at 02:44.
 

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